When you compare ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, you’re comparing two of the better-known and popular players in the VPN world. Which of them is best? Let’s put the two big beasts head to head and find out how they shake down.
Features: What Does Each VPN Offer?
ExpressVPN has made its name to a large extent on the features it offers. Let’s run through the main highlights.
Supports Lightway protocol and OpenVPN.
Has its own kill switch, known as Network Lock – which can keep you safe from IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks.
Offers a split tunneling feature, meaning you can select the apps you want to use the VPN with, and the apps you don’t. That cuts down lag and so increases the speed of your connection on particular apps through the VPN.
Obfuscation – which cunningly makes your VPN traffic look like standard HTTPS traffic, getting you past censorship barriers and firewalls. Hot tip – this is great for places like the United Arab Emirates, that have some seriously impressive restrictions. Obfuscation can get around them.
Offers a kill switch and DNS protection.
Has the WireGuard Protocol, which delivers extra speed when you need it and – just like ExpressVPN, offers you five simultaneous connections.
Obfuscation via the VyprVPN Chameleon Protocol. Similar to the ExpressVPN obfuscation tool, VyprVPN’s obfuscation makes it a great tool for getting into larger local areas, like China.
On balance, they’re both great and what they do. It’s just the case that ExpressVPN does slightly more, particularly split-tunnelling.
That ability to select the apps that automatically connect via the VPN is both a time-saver and a speed-booster, so if we’re comparing features, ExpressVPN comes out just slightly ahead.
Security & Encryption
Bottom line, you’re using a VPN to be sage, secure and ideally encrypted, to get around data access proscriptions. So which of the two has better security and encryption?
What protocol options do you get as standard with ExpressVPN?
- OpenVPN protocol including its new Lightway protocol.
- AES 256-bit encryption - military-grade protection, available to the citizen.
- AES-256-GCM, that lets you encrypt the control channel.
- SHA-512 HMAC authentication.
- 4096-bit RSA key.
ExpressVPN brings some pretty sweet encryption to the table and no mistake. What does VyprVPN have that can compete?
- PPTP protocol – to give you 128-bit basic encryption.
- L2TP/IPSec protocol with 256-bit encryption – there’s your military-grade option, just like ExpressVPN.
- OpenVPN protocol with 160-to-256-bit strong encryption, giving you protection for your data while you’re online.
- The Chameleon proprietary protocol that bypasses ISP Throttling & DPI.
- And the WireGuard protocol with – we kid you not - ChaCha20 ciphers.
Added to these encryption stats, what about the security of your VPN server?
In 2019, ExpressVPN went powerfully virtual with the launch of its TrustedServer feature. That turned the whole server network to RAM-disk mode from hard drives. Result?
Data can’t be hacked from somewhere it doesn’t exist, meaning third parties come up empty-handed when they try to seize your data.
Meanwhile VyprVPN uses self-owned servers, rather than third party servers. But there’s no RAM-disk facility with VyprVPN.
The winner on this is harder to choose, but the frankly genius RAM-disk thing nudges it for ExpressVPN on security and encryption. Be aware though, on security and encryption, the margins between the two are very slim.
We all love the freedom that comes with a slick hot VPN – but at what cost?
ExpressVPN has 3 main plans.
The 1-month plan costs $12.95 per month.
If you go for the 6-month plan, it costs you just $9.99 per month.
But the most cost-effective option if you’re going to use the VPN a lot going forward is the 12 months (+ 3 months free) plan. That gives you 15 months at just $6.67 per month.
ExpressVPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you try the VPN out and you’re not entirely sold on the feature or the access you get, you can cancel out and go elsewhere, no harm, no foul.
You could go to VyprVPN, for instance.
And if you thought ExpressVPN was cheap at the price, prepare to wet yourself in glee.
VyprVPN has three price plans too.
Sign up for 3 months, and you get VyprVPN for just $4.31 per month.
Jump to the significantly longer 18-month plan, and it costs you just $2.50 per month.
Double down and go for the 36-month plan, and all you pay is $1.66 per month, for one of the best VPNs on the market.
The jury’s pretty darned clear on this one – to spend less per month, go VyprVPN. But it’s also worth noting those long commitment periods. Sure, you spend a lot less per month, but 36 months is 3 years tied into a single VPN.
Still, at that price, it’s probably worth having in any case, right? And like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN gives you that 30-day money-back guarantee period in case you get $2-a-month cold feet.
Oh, and while we’re about it, how can you pay for your VPN subscription? Bottom line, you can use credit cards and Paypal on both services.
But, moving a little faster with the times, ExpressVPN also lets you use bitcoin to buy your VPN privileges, whereas if you go with VyprVPN, no bitcoin for you! At least, not yet.
It’s also worth remembering the miniscule VPN costs that VyprVPN is bringing to your browsing – you can get literally months of hot VPN action with VyprVPN for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee.
When you’re bitcoining your flat white and banana muffin, we’ll talk about your virtual tycoonery.
Bottom line, if there’s a winner on price plans and payment options, it has to be VyprVPN. Sure, bitcoin. But reliably low prices, years ahead – that’s got to get our vote.
What is jurisdiction, and why should you care?
Let’s break it down like this. If you are with a VPN based in the US, then any law enforcement agency (Hi, NSA, how’s the family?) can ask for user logs and data. In other words, your VPN is not worth the bandwidth it’s printed on.
If you use a VPN in, say, the famously neutral Switzerland, or the famously tax haven-y British Virgin Islands, then all the sneaky people in government and law enforcement who might want your user logs and your sweet, sweet data – mmmmmay not be able to get it, at least now without proving just cause.
That right there is a VPN with a tasty jurisdiction, and it’s worth having.
Naturally, we didn’t pluck those examples out of a clear blue sky. VyprVPN is based in the jurisdiction of Switzerland, and ExpressVPN in the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands.
The British Virgin Islands has no data retention laws, and allows no external requests from the likes of the surveillance alliance, Five Eyes.
Think of it as the James Bond villain’s lair for data – it’s politically independent, has no intelligence alliance with any other country, and wants no truck with prying data-hungry eyes. It’s where your data goes to get blown like ash in the wind.
As a jurisdiction for a VPN, it’s practically perfect in every way.
Switzerland has what is generally regarded as a larger role to play in the diplomacy and commerce of the non-digital world, and so tends to tread a slightly less maverick path on data security.
While it too is no part of any surveillance alliance, it has been known to cooperate with such alliance when it deems it necessary.
The fact that it can deem it necessary to rat out your user logs and data, without your say-so, makes it inherently a less dependable jurisdiction for a VPN. It’s still very good – it’s just not quite the data freedom paradise of the British Virgin Islands.
As such, while both are great jurisdictions compared to the likes of the United States, the United Kingdom or any of the countries in the European Union, ExpressVPN, with its British Virgin Islands jurisdiction, has to edge ahead of the game on data privacy.
This is a simple one. You want no logs kept of your VPN use, otherwise, what is the point of using a VPN, right? You might as well use a VPN-But-Not-Really.
On this, we can’t sugar coat it for you. ExpressVPN holds no logs. We know this because it’s been data audited by independent third parties who came back saying “No logs here, boss.”
VyprVPN on the other hand retains no sensitive logs.
Now, while you might think it’s in your best interests for you to decide what’s sensitive and what isn’t, it’s possible to get too carried away and paranoid here.
No sensitive logs is probably good enough for at least 98% of people using a VPN to watch developmental anime in China or the misery-soaps of the UK.
But on the third-party audit verdict of no logs at all, we have to give the victory on logging policy to ExpressVPN, albeit on a technicality.
Overall then, comparing the two, you get more for your money with ExpressVPN pretty much all along the line. But you also pay significantly more money for the service you get, while for the most part, VyprVPN is absolutely good enough. Who wins?
That’s down to you, your bank account, and how watertight you want your user logs and your data to be. If you want them deadlock-sealed, go ExpressVPN – but be prepared to pay for the security.
If you’re happy to be only very secure, go VyprVPN and buy yourself a celebratory Starbucks with the money you didn’t spend.